Planned freeze to bus fares and tunnels tolls for local residents

Kingsway Tunnel toll plaza

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is planning to freeze Mersey Tunnel tolls and bus and ferry fares.

At its meeting next Friday, the combined authority will consider the proposal that is part of a bid by the Mayor, Steve Rotheram, to help keep travel affordable for people during the cost-of-living crisis.

The plans recommend freezing the price of a car journey through the tunnel for city region residents with a T-FLOW account at £1.40 – a 70p saving on the cash toll.

This would mean local people travelling through the Mersey Tunnels would continue to pay the lowest prices. Half of all Mersey Tunnels users are T-FLOW members who live in the city region, meaning that tens of thousands of people saving up to a third every day.

Any surplus generated by the Mersey Tunnels are reinvested back into supporting transport in the region, such as supported bus services that private operators will not run because they do not make enough profit.

Also covered in the report are proposed fares for buses and the Mersey Ferries. Under the recommendations, the £2 bus fare introduced by the Mayor will remain and the MyTicket, which allows all-day unlimited bus travel under-19s, will also be frozen at £2.20.

Mersey Ferries commuter service fares are to be held at £2.90 for a single and £3.80 for a return journey.

Steve Rotheram said: “With the cost of living to continuing to put pressure on families across our region, I want to make sure we’re doing what we can to make travel as accessible, fair, and affordable for everyone.

“As well as keeping bus fares at £2 and bringing back the night bus, we’re freezing tolls for city region T-FLOW users, too, to ensure that local people pay the lowest possible price to travel around our area.”

He added: ”Slowly but surely, we are beginning to see big improvements in our transport network as we build the London-style system that our area deserves. We’re taking back control of our buses, rolling out the country’s first publicly-owned trains in a generation and working to bring it together under a simple tap and go system.”

However, to help manage inflationary pressures and the high cost of energy, some changes to fees and charges are being proposed.

It is recommended that the Mersey Tunnels cash toll for car users, as well as T-FLOW charges for non-Liverpool City Region residents, rise by 10p to £2.10. This represents an increase of five per cent, below inflation and far lower than the £2.70 maximum charge allowed under the Tunnels Act.

The proposals also include a modest increase in ticket prices for Mersey Ferries leisure sailings – including the popular River Explorer Cruise – which will rise from £12 to £12.75.

If agreed most of these changes will come into effect in April 2024.